Leading a healthy lifestyle can be great but sometimes, no matter how hard we work, we still get sick. And very often, the ailment is completely beyond our control. Over 1.9 billion people on the planet today have to live with chronic or recurring pain, and far from everyone seeks treatment for their condition. This means that the real number of those struggling with pain may in fact be far greater.
Living with chronic pain has a tremendous impact on your life, and always one that is negative. Sadly, in many cases the condition cannot be completely cured and therefore you have no choice but to manage it, and then to fight the pain in order to reclaim your life and learn how to be happy in spite of it.
Pain medication prescribed by your doctor will only get you so far, but the following practices can help improve your well-being significantly without the risk of developing an addiction.
Practice mindfulness meditation
It might sometimes seem that finding inner peace while you are in pain is impossible. However, there is a large body of evidence which demonstrates the efficiency of mindfulness meditation as a method of treatment for chronic pain.
It is important to understand that meditation doesn’t make the pain go away, although it can reduce its intensity a little. However, this practice does help by managing and reducing depression and anxiety, which are caused by pain. The result is an improvement in your overall quality of life.
The best thing is that mindfulness meditation is rather easy to learn. This type of meditation focuses on being aware (mindful) of your physical state, which helps to connect your mind with your body. This allows you to take better control of both, thereby managing the pain.
You can begin by taking only ten minutes a day and all you will need to do is to sit comfortably in a quiet place and breathe. Focus on the breath, feeling how your chest expands and contracts and how the air flows through your nostrils. Each time your thoughts start to wander, shift your focus back to the physical process of breathing and clear your mind. Do this every day and you’ll feel the benefits of it within a couple of weeks at most. And it will only get better with consistent practice.
If your pain is intense, try taking CBD
Painkiller drugs can be dangerous, so researchers are always looking for safer alternatives and cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most promising amongst them. Before you start using it though, you need to understand what CBD is and then speak to your doctor. This type of analgesic is effective only for certain types of pain, so you need to find out whether this product can become a part of your treatment program.
This type of natural pain-reliever can be a good choice for those whose chronic health issues cause a debilitating amount of pain – for example, arthritis patients might benefit from it.
But remember that you shouldn’t take any drugs without consulting your doctor first. Also, you need to consider your treatment program in its entirety as drug interaction might impact upon their effectiveness.
This method doesn’t really reduce pain, but switching your focus from it to something else will make coping easier. This trick can be used to deal with low-to-moderate chronic pain in particular.
The best method of distraction is to change your surroundings. Go for a walk or take a ride to some new place. If you don’t have the opportunity to explore new horizons, even going to a park will help. In this way you will not only help your mind to focus upon something different but you will also get a dose of natural painkillers, namely endorphins, from the exercise.
In the event you can’t go for a walk, you should try to distract yourself with activities which require a lot of mental focus. If your health condition allows, try knitting, sewing, painting, or any other activity which requires the use of your hands. Playing computer games will work as well. If all else fails, watch a good action movie or anything else that can keep your attention.
Track your pain in a journal
It might seem of limited use at first glance, but tracking your pain using a method like bullet journaling can be a great help in the long run. This will allow you to understand when exactly it spikes and to determine if some factors in your life affect those particular spikes. Analyzing this information will enable you to develop more effective treatment and pain management strategies.
Bio: Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking or working out at the gym. Follow her on Facebook!